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Madden rolls to $5,200 Southern All Star Racing Series ‘Scott Sexton Memorial’ victory at Volunteer Speedway

By volunteer | 02 June 2013 | 2013 | | 0 Comments   

Madden rolls to $5,200 Southern All Star Racing Series ‘Scott Sexton Memorial’ victory at Volunteer Speedway

By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (June 14) — The Southern All Star Racing Series made its first visit since 2004 to Volunteer Speedway two weeks ago for running of the inaugural Scott Sexton Memorial 52, an event to honor one of East Tennessee’s best to ever wheel a dirt late model.

Back on June 1, rain stopped the racing with only 17 laps complete. With the Southern All Star Racing Series already scheduled to be back in East Tennessee over Father’s Day weekend, the decision was made to complete the Scott Sexton Memorial 52 on Friday, June 14, before moving the next night on to Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville.

With a strong field of 27 competitors’ present for time trials on the original date, the top eight locked into the $5,200-to-win main event. Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., was fastest in Group A qualifying and overall with a time of 12.332 seconds, followed by Billy Ogle Jr., Jimmy Owens and Vic Hill. Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., was fastest in Group B, followed by Mark Douglas, Bret Holmes and Riley Hickman.

The remainder of the 24-car starting field would be determined through two PPM Racing Products Last Chance Showdowns, which would transfer the top seven finishers from each. Chad Ogle won the first LCS over Josh Collins, Mike Weeks, Stacy Boles, Josh Henry, Dusty Carver and Jeff Neubert. Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., won the second LCS over Michael Asberry, Bryan Hendrix, Zack Mitchell, Mark Rosner, Skylar Marlar and Ellery Leake. Using series provisional starting berths in 23rd and 24th, respectively, were Mark Vineyard and Kayne Hickman.

Madden grabbed the lead at drop of the green flag over McDowell racing down the front straightaway, and back around at the start-finish line to complete the opening lap Billy Ogle Jr., Owens and Douglas rounded out top five in the running order. Hill got around Douglas for the fifth spot on lap 8 racing off turn two.

Caution waved on lap 17 with Madden leading McDowell, Ogle Jr., Owens and Hill when rain began to at first fall lightly, but quickly turned into a red flag situation when the skies opened and rain came pouring down.

Twenty of the original 24 starters returned on Friday, and the event resumed with a Delaware double-file restart on lap 17, with 35 laps remaining to decide the race winner. With the field already determined, only those locked-in cars that were present on June 1 were permitted to complete running of the Southern All Star Racing Series $5,200-to-win show.

Madden was all alone out front for the restart Friday night, and directly behind him side-by-side were McDowell and Ogle Jr. Only one lap back green the caution waved when Douglas slowed on high-side between turns one and two.

On the ensuing restart before one lap was completed, the yellow flag waved once again when Ellery Leake, Carver and Neubert tangled in turn two, which was triggered when Casebolt and Ogle Jr. got together between turns one and two while racing each other hard for position.

On a hooked-up tacky surface the speeds were blistering fast around the high banks at “The Gap,” and leader Madden setting sail out front and being pursued by McDowell, Ogle Jr., Casebolt and Hill.

Madden caught slower cars at tail of the field on lap 25, while holding about an eight-car length advantage over McDowell. The race leader had difficulty getting past Rosner and Holmes who were running side-by-side. Not wanting to be passed by McDowell, Madden took matters into his own hands on lap 27 and put the front nosepiece to the back of Holmes, spinning the Alabama driver to bring out the caution.

Back up to speed, Madden once again began to put some real estate between his No. 44 Bloomquist Race Car and McDowell and Ogle Jr. Casebolt rode to the high side of turns one and two on lap 33 to drive around Ogle Jr. into the third spot.

With 40 laps complete, Madden was working lap traffic and seeing McDowell chop into his advantage and get within striking distance. The event’s final caution waved on lap 48, when Riley Hickman wrecked between turns three and four.

When the green flag waved, Madden launched down the front straightaway and with a clear track ahead he never allowed McDowell to make a challenge. Madden took the $5,200 win over McDowell, Casebolt, Ogle Jr. and Hill.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Chad Ogle, Asberry, Boles, Hendrix and Weeks.

Added to the racing program following the rain-out was a 30-lap, $2,000-to-win Limited Steel-Head/Crate Late Model event which attracted a stellar 37-car field. Cory Hedgecock of Loudon served notice in qualifying he would be a force to be reckoned with after setting fast-time.

The first attempt to go green produced a multi-car wreck in the first turn, with several cars sustaining sheet-metal damage and the entries of current NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver Ryan Gifford, Barrett Lowe (grandson of longtime NASCAR Late Model Sportsman/Busch Series competitor Bosco Lowe), along with Chris Chandler and Greg Estes seeing their race end prematurely.

Allen Champ, the 2005 Volunteer Speedway Limited Late Model champion, was driving the mount normally wheeled by Weston Gantte and he grabbed the early lead over Hedgecock, David Crabtree, Trevor Sise and Matt Henderson. Henderson got around Sise for the fourth spot on lap 2 racing off the second corner, but just two circuits later Henderson suddenly slowed and brought his ride into the pits.

The 20-year-old Hedgecock, whose family owns Eagle Racing Engines, powered around Champ to take a lead he would never relinquish on lap 5. Caution waved on lap 12, when Josh Henry’s engine went up in smoke on the backstretch.

Back under green, Hedgecock was smashing the loud pedal and pulling away from his closest challengers. He turned in a dominating performance to pocket $2,000 for the convincing victory over Champ, Crabtree, Sise and veteran Steve Smith.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Travis Fultz, Chas King, Jason Manley, Mark Leach and Ross White.

Warren McMahan of Dandridge is in the Volunteer Speedway record books with five championships. The chauffeur from Dandridge has four Super Stock titles and on one occasion in the Pro (Crate) Late Model division. Jamie Whitt is also three-time defending Modified Hobby track champion.

The dynamic duo battled side-by-side for the opening five laps of the Modified Hobby 20-lap feature before Whitt moved to the point. And over the next 13 circuits, McMahan pressured Whitt for the lead before finally pulling off the race-winning pass to collect the $200 Miller’s Tire & Auto Service of Johnson City bonus for the victory over Whitt, Chuck Johnson, Austin Atkins and Mike Mays.

SOUTHERN ALL STAR RACING SERIES – “SCOTT SEXTON MEMORIAL 52” – $5,200 TO WIN

1. Chris Madden #44-Gray Court, SC $5,200
2. Dale McDowell #17m-Chickamauga, GA $2,500
3. Steve Casebolt #c9-Richmond, IN $1,200
4. Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN $1,000
5. Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN $800
6. Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN $700
7. Michael Asberry #360-Crossville, TN $600
8. Stacy Boles #11B-Clinton, TN $550
9. Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN $500
10. Mike Weeks #22-Friendsville, TN $475
11. Josh Henry #25-Newport, TN $450
12. Mark Rosner #17-Rockford, TN $400
13. Bret Holmes #H2-Munford, AL $350
14. Ellery Leake #34-Knoxville, TN $300
15. Riley Hickman #r1-Chattanooga, TN $300
16. Jeff Neubert #86-Rockford, TN $300
17. Josh Collins #63-Knoxville, TN $300
18. Dusty Carver #9-Englewood, TN $300
19. Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN $300
20. Mark Vineyard #4-Powell, TN $300
21. Zack Mitchell #57-Enoree, SC $300
22. Skylar Marlar #257-Winfield, TN $300
23. Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN $300
24. Kayne Hickman #H3-Soddy Daisy, TN $300

Overall Top Qualifier: Chris Madden 12.332
Group A Top Four Locked-In: Chris Madden, Billy Ogle, Jr., Jimmy Owens, Vic Hill
Group B Top Four Locked-In: Dale McDowell, Mark Douglas, Bret Holmes, Riley Hickman
Series Provisionals: Mark Vineyard, Kayne Hickman
Entries: 27

PPM Racing Products Last Chance Showdown #1 Finish (Top 7 Finishers Transfer): 1) Chad Ogle #10; 2) Josh Collins #63; 3) Mike Weeks #22; 4) Stacy Boles #11B; 5) Josh Henry #25; 6) Dusty Carver #9; 7) Jeff Neubert #86; 8) Ross White #0; (Did Not Start – Mark Vineyard #4)

PPM Racing Products Last Chance Showdown #2 Finish (Top 7 Finishers Transfer): 1) Steve Casebolt #c9; 2) Michael Asberry #360; 3) Bryan Hendrix #5; 4) Zack Mitchell #57; 5) Mark Rosner #17; 6) Skylar Marlar #257; 7) Ellery Leake #34; 8) Travis Greer #11g; 9) Kayne Hickman #H3; 10) Jay Brunson #23

LIMITED STEEL-HEAD/CRATE LATE MODEL (30 laps/$2,000-to-win)

1) Cory Hedgecock #23; 2) Allen Champ #14; 3) David Crabtree #c5; 4) Trevor Sise #73; 5) Steve Smith #3; 6) Travis Fultz #T0; 7) Chase King #44k; 8) Jason Manley #32; 9) Mark Leach #66; 10) Ross White #0; 11) Levi Hicks #4H; 12) Heath Alvey #7; 13) Pierce McCarter #71; 14) Ruben Mayfield #00; 15) Layne Clifton #23; 16) Rusty Ballenger #29; 17) Josh Henry #B00; 18) John Tweed #5; 19) Brent Hensley #70; 20) Matt Henderson #17; 21) Ryan Gifford #2; 22) Greg Estes #31; 23) Barrett Lowe #72; 24) Chris Chandler #88

B-Main #1 (Top 3 Finishers Transfer): 1) Heath Alvey #7; 2) Ruben Mayfield #00; 3) Mark Leach #66; 4) J. Allan #111; 5) Craig Gregg #12; 6) James Cole #5; 7) Stephen Martin #46; 8) Gusty Christenberry #B2; (Did Not Start – Keith Gregory #44; Forrest Trent #23)

B-Main #2 (Top 3 Finishers Transfer): 1) Barrett Lowe #72; 2) Chris Chandler #88; 3) Levi Hicks #4H; 4) Andy Ogle #68; 5) B.J. Morris #45; 6) Chris Long #75; 7) Richard Adkins #73; 8) Jason Cardwell #07; 9) Jerry Williams Jr. #28

MODIFIED HOBBY (20 laps)

1) Warren McMahan #33; 2) Jamie Whitt #1; 3) Chuck Johnson #17T; 4) Austin Atkins #14A; 5) Mike Mays #30; 6) Chuck Kilian #96; 7) Terry Dean #47; 8) Charlie Bates #34; 9) Parker Estes #31; 10) Landon Williams #25; 11) Jesse Wilder #79; 12) Mike Kilian #94; 13) Kaleb Trent #3; 14) Zack Morgan #7; 15) Josh Odom #14; 16) Jesse Helton #28

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